Published Nov 11. 2002

Catch that fish

Book Sales, Incorporated
Publishing year: 
Peter Gathercole
Reviewed by: 

With a subtitle such as "The essential guide to fly fishing tactics" and cover texts such as "When to fish and where to cast" and "How to match the perfect fly" the promises are piling up in this wonderful book from 1999.

What first and foremost makes this book so wonderful is its special format. When you first look at it, it looks like any ordinary book, but once you have opened it, you realize that it has two very special assets:

1) It is a hard back book with a hidden spiral - a very fine way of making a user friendly book. It will look nice in your bookshelf, but also lie flat when it is open. Perfect for a book with fly patterns and tying instructions.

2) The majority of the book's pages are split in two, meaning that you can have two half spreads open at the same time.

Especially the latter makes the book very interesting. A large part of the book consists of a rundown on particular types of fishing water on the top half and a rundown of fly patterns on the bottom part.

You can have the book open on both water description and the matching lies - which are listed along the pages of each type of water. That makes the reading a particularly fun and useful - and quite different - experience.

Apart from that, the book is actually very ordinary and covers fly fishing in general, but with a particularly British angle - chalkstream, stillwater and so on. The book also covers fresh water exclusively, but does talk about salmon and grayling as well as brown trout.

Peter Gathercole is probably best recognized for his books on fly tying, but does a good job of conveying advice about the fishing too. The book is very eye pleasing with its beautiful pictures and instructive illustrations. The fly pictures are excellent and the flies probably scanned directly as is the case in many recent books. Unfortunately a few of the flies have room for improvement in the tying, but as a whole they do the job.

The text is very easy to read, but also lacks a bit in beauty. For some reason many British books do display a rather strange style of typography.

I have had much joy from the book, even though I - in all modesty - consider myself quite a seasoned fly fisher and fly tyer. Beginning fishers and tyers will most likely enjoy it even more. No fly fisher should be ashamed of having this volume on the shelf.

On top of that the book is very humanely priced. I paid UK£9.95 for it by Coch-y-Bondhu in Wales.

A wonderful book!

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